Dr Karen Smith

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

  • Location:Institute of Healthcare Associated Infection, 56A Lister Street, University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock, KA2 0BB
  • Phone:01563 826773
  • Email:Karen.Smith@uws.ac.uk


Dr Karen Smith is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Healthcare Associated Infection.

Karen graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2001 with a BSc (1st Class Hons) in Immunology and Microbiology. Following two years working as a Research Scientist in a NHS laboratory, Karen was awarded a Carnegie Trust Scholarship and returned to the University of Strathclyde to undertake a PhD (awarded in 2007) in Medical Microbiology with a focus on antimicrobial resistance in important clinical pathogens. Since this time Karen has worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Glasgow and the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. She has been involved in a range of projects studying the mechanisms employed by bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics and disinfectants, the formation of bacterial biofilms, the efficacy of novel antimicrobial peptides and the development of innovative antimicrobial biomaterials.


BSc (1st Class Hons) Immunology and Microbiology, 2001, University of Strathclyde.
PhD Medical Microbiology, 2007, University of Strathclyde.

Research Interests

Karen has a special interest in the mechanisms used by clinically important bacterial pathogens to develop antimicrobial resistance, the development of bacterial biofilms, the persistence of chronic biofilm-mediated infections and the search for novel antimicrobial agents

Research activity output journals

K. Smith, C.G .Gemmell, S Lang. (2013). Telavancin shows superior activity to vancomycin with multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a range of in vitro biofilm models. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 32:1327-1332.

K. Smith, D. Robertson, D.F. Lappin and G. Ramage (2013). Commercial mouthwashes are ineffective against oral MRSA biofilms. Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol. 115(5):624-9

C. L. Brown, K. Smith, L. McCaughey and D. Walker (2012). Colicin-like bacteriocins as novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic biofilm-mediated infection. Biochem Soc Trans. 40(6):1549-52.

K. Smith, L. Martin, A. Rinaldi, R. Rajendran, G. Ramage and D. Walker (2012). Species specific protein antibiotics with potent activity against multidrug resistant biofilms Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 56, 1599-1601.

K. Smith, K. A. Gould, G. Ramage, C. G. Gemmell, J. Hinds and S. Lang (2009). The influence of tigecycline on the expression of virulence factors in biofilm-associated cells of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 54, 380-387.

K. Smith, A. Perez, G. Ramage, C. G. Gemmell and S. Lang (2009). Comparison of biofilm-associated cell survival following in vitro exposure of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus biofilms to the antibiotics clindamycin, daptomycin, linezolid, tigecycline and vancomycin. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 33, 374-378.

K. Smith, A. Perez, G. Ramage, D. Lappin, C. G. Gemmell and S. Lang (2008). Biofilm formation by Scottish clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus. J. Med. Micro. 57, 1018-1023

K. Smith and I. S. Hunter (2008). Efficacy of common hospital biocides with multi-drug resistant clinical isolates. J. Med. Micro. 57, 966-973

K. Smith, C. G. Gemmell and I. S. Hunter (2008). The association between biocide tolerance and the presence or absence of qac genes among hospital-acquired and community acquired MRSA isolates. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 61, 78-84.

K. Smith, M. A. Diggle and S. C. Clarke (2004). Automation of a fluorescence-based multiplex PCR for the laboratory confirmation of common bacterial pathogens. J. Med. Micro., 53, 115–117

K. Smith, M. A. Diggle, and S. C. Clarke (2003). Comparison of Commercial DNA Extraction Kits for Extraction of Bacterial Genomic DNA from Whole-Blood Samples. J. Clin. Micro., 41, 2440–2443

M. A. Diggle, K. Smith, E. K. Girvan, and S. C. Clarke (2003) Evaluation of a Fluorescence-Based PCR Method for Identification of Serogroup A Meningococci. J. Clin. Micro., 41, 1766-1768


Membership of Research Groups / Centres / Institutes

Institute of Healthcare Associated Infection
Scottish Clinical Biofilm Network

2014 University of the West of Scotland
University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity. Charity number SC002520.
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